Monday, February 26, 2018

GIS Hub Explorer: Out With the Old, In With the New

Over the past 15 years we have upgraded the GIS Hub Explorer three times to major new versions, and now we are planning to roll out a fourth version. Each of these versions correspond to responding to a shift in technology.  This fourth version utilizes Esri's "web application builder" which is their current platform and which also provides a responsive design, allowing the GIS Hub Explorer to work on mobile devices.

If you are still using the old Hub Explorer, please begin to convert over to using the new Hub Explorer. We plan to shut down the old Hub Explorer March 19. If you are right in the middle of a project that uses the old Hub Explorer and you need to continue having access to it past March 19, please contact us at your earliest convenience.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

North Dakota Watershed Boundary Dataset Update

There have been a few updates to the North Dakota WBD that is distributed on the ND GIS Hub Data Portal.  First, the field HULEVEL in the HUC12_Line feature dataset will no longer maintained.  This field was only maintained in the state WBD and does not exist in the national WBD.  HULEVEL field is similar to the already existing HUDIGIT and conveys similar meaning, specifically what hydrologic unit level the line represents: 10-digit, 12-digit, 4-digit, etc.  Below is a table of HUDIGIT labels and values that can be used to symbolize the HUC12_Line feature dataset:

Label                              Value
12-digit Hydrologic Unit 12
10-digit Hydrologic Unit 10
8-digit Hydrologic Unit            8
6-digit Hydrologic Unit            6
4-digit Hydrologic Unit            4
2-digit Hydrologic Unit            2

14-digit and 16-digit hydrologic units have a value of "14" and "16", respectively and are nested within the 12-digit hydrologic units.  However, there are no 14-digit or 16-digit hydrologic units delineated for North Dakota at this time. 

Second, some field names have changed slightly from what was on the ND GIS Hub previously to make them consistent with what is in the national WBD.  The records contained in these attribute fields remain the same, just the field names have changed. MetasourceID, SourceDataDesc, SourceOriginator, and SourceFeatureID are the fields that now have the same name as the national dataset. 

Lastly, linework and coding updates have been made in the following areas:
  • HU12 hydrologic unit lines and codes have been added to the Canadian portion of the Lower Red basin.  
  • HUC12 linework adjustments have been made near selected confluences across the state to align WBD polygons to NHD streamlines, flowlines and pour points when appropriate. 
  • Revisions have been made throughout the dataset as part of a nationwide effort to review linework, verify HU codes, downstream codes as well as a comprehensive review of hydrologic unit names to bring older delineations up to the current standards.  
The WBD delineation effort for the U.S. spanned more than 15 years. In North Dakota, delineation efforts began in 1999 and were not certified complete until 2008.  In those nine years alone, North Dakota hydrologists and GIS specialists followed three different versions of the Federal WBD Delineation Standards.  We now believe we have a stable Federal WBD Delineation Standard so large-scale updates like these should not be as frequent as they have in the past. In North Dakota, harmonization across the US-Canada border has also been completed.  Users should still be aware that updates will periodically occur. Be sure to check the publication date in the metadata to make sure you have the most recent data available. The WBD that is distributed on the USGS WBD download site ( is refreshed monthly to account for nationwide stewardship activity.  WBD data distributed on the ND GIS Hub Data Portal will be updated twice per year.   If you have any questions about the WBD, please contact the ND WBD Data Steward, Ann Fritz at or the U.S. Geological Survey WBD Team Lead, Kimberly Jones, 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Updated Datasets on the GIS Hub

Two datasets have been updated on the GIS Hub by the North Dakota GIS Technical Committee data stewards.  These are:

City Boundaries (updated, courtesy of Department of Transportation)

Watershed Boundary Dataset (updated, includes watersheds, sub-watersheds, regions, sub-regions, basins, and sub-basins; courtesy of Department of Health)  NOTE:  please read the detailed description.

These datasets can be downloaded and/or delivered via web-based data services.  More information on these datasets can be found on the GIS Hub Data Portal. You can search for these datasets (e.g., type in: watershed) or you may find it convenient to simply browse to the data using the Topics filter.

After you've located the data of interest, click on the title of the dataset and then click on a button to the right of the data resource, e.g., the "Go to resource" button.